Dorothy Milnamow

Date of Birth

Aug 01,1933

Date of Death

Feb 06,2019

Dorothy Milnamow, age 85, of Batavia, formerly of Maple Park, claimed the promise of her Savior, Wednesday, February 6, 2019. Her body may have been worn, but her spirit shone bright, marked with laughter, sharing memories with her family until her last days.
She was born August 1, 1933, in Geneva, IL, to proud parents, Francis and Erma (Davis) Feuerborn. Dorothy grew up in Batavia and attended Louise White School. She graduated from Madonna Catholic High School in Aurora, IL, with the class of 1951. She continued her education at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, and graduated with a degree in education.
Dorothy taught at Anderson Elementary School in St. Charles.
Dorothy met Tom Milnamow through the local Rural Youth Program. They fell in love and were united in marriage on November 9, 1957 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia. They made their first home on Keslinger Rd., in Maple Park where they built a house on the Milnamow family farm, right next door to Tom’s childhood home. They eventually moved around the corner to the Milnamow farm on Watson Rd. Their family grew to a total of eight children in ten years.
In the 1960’s, Dorothy’s complete partnership with Tom expanded the farm to include planting acres of evergreen trees which was the beginning of their family farm market years. The trees were primarily sold as “cut your own” Christmas trees. In 1971, they planted their first apple trees. Over the years that followed the family would plant thousands of evergreen and apple trees, thus was born the Pine-Apple Orchard. As the family business continued to grow and thrive, Dorothy and Tom were full partners in the family business. Dorothy’s early teaching skills came in handy as she led orchard tours for thousands of school children and adults, teaching them about the orchard. Dorothy loved working with friends and family. Her favorite aspect of the business was meeting, interacting and forming friendships with so many wonderful people who would visit the orchard over the years. Just prior to Tom’s death in 2002 they made the decision to sell the farm and move to Elburn. Dorothy continued to live there until 2011 when she moved to the Holmstad Retirement Community in Batavia. This move took her back to the town where she was born and raised. She grew to love life at the Holmstad where she met so many wonderful people, and enjoyed participating in activities; she embraced the staff who came to be like family. When Dorothy made her move to Michealsen Health Center at the Holmstad, it was a restful time. She enjoyed doing word puzzles, reading, activities with her friends, and napping to her heart’s content. Dorothy truly lived and loved her life to the fullest. As one of her famous quotes goes…”Been there, done that!”
Tom and Dorothy enjoyed spending time together off the farm as well. They were members of many organizations including St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Maple Park where Dorothy taught religious education, sang in the choir and was a member of the Women’s Cenacle Guild. They were both members of the Kaneland Booster Club. They were members of the Kane County Farm Bureau, where Dorothy served on the Women’s Committee and helped to organize countless blood drives. Dorothy and Tom were the first recipients of the Farm Bureau Volunteer Award. They were members of the National and the Illinois Christmas Tree Association, the Illinois Specialty Growers, Apple and Peach Marketing Board, Illinois State Horticulture Society, the Illinois Fruit Growers Association and the Ag-Tech at Teeple Barn. Even after Tom’s passing, Dorothy continued her dedicated involvement and support of many of these organizations. Serving others, the community and beyond, was a way of life that was very important to them both.
Dorothy lived her busy country life filled with caring for her family and serving her community. In the early years, Tom did the grain farming, Dorothy took care of the household. People often asked her how she managed all that went along with raising a large family on a farm and she always replied that she “had a lot of help from Tom and couldn’t have done it without him”. In later years, they enjoyed traveling including going to Ireland to celebrate Tom’s Irish heritage. They returned 4 times to revisit friends they made along the way. They also took a trip to Germany to visit Dorothy’s side of the family and explore her heritage. They thoroughly enjoyed their trips overseas but they were also fond of taking road trips to see family and friends; always making new adventures.
Dorothy loved to garden, bake, cook, read and sew and after their move from the farm she found more time to enjoy these activities. Above all she valued spending time with family. Her kids were always her number one priority. She and Tom supported and attended the many activities of their children. The family grew to include 18 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren all of whom she loved dearly. She was just as delighted and in love with the youngest as she was with the first grandchild. Nothing made her happier than spending time with them. As a grandma, she was a favorite always with one in tow, teaching them in such a fun and loving way; everything was an opportunity for a teachable moment. There was never a time when Dorothy didn’t put her family first. Her love for them was as steadfast as her faith in God, through whom all things are possible. With her strong faith, she always knew God had a plan even though he “took Tom early”. In the years after his death, until the day Dorothy left this earth to join him, God’s Plan was very evident in the blessed life that Dorothy lived.
She is survived by eight children: Tom Milnamow Jr., Kathy Chwee, Sue Milnamow, Carol Ramsay, Karen (Ken) Fox, Bridget (Ron) Link, Michael (Gina) Milnamow, Janet (Paul) Ziegler, and Mary (Jeff) Callen; 18 grandchildren: Maddie (Derek) Stierwalt and their children: Rosemary and Hannah; Allyson (Matt) Dirksen and their children: William, Lauren and Kate Dorothy; Andrea (Shawn Bernard) Chwee; Melanie (Edgar Santoyo) Chwee; Megan Chwee; Emma, Anna and Laura Fox; Molly (Ryan) Freed and their son, Owen; Abby (Toby Arlis) Link, Ben Link; Grace, Sam and Claire Milnamow; Natalie (Darren) Underway; Daniel, Sean and Catherine Callen; four siblings: Bob Feuerborn, Richard Feuerborn, Jim (Helen) Feuerborn, and Cecilia (Jim) Nass; two sisters-in-law: Leanne Feuerborn and Ruth Milnamow; many nieces, nephews and cousins and a community of friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Erma Feuerborn; her husband, Tom Milnamow; her sister, Joan (Tom) Spang; and her beloved son-in-law, William Chwee.
Visitation will be from 3-7 p.m., Sunday, February 17, 2019, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. Additional visitation will commence, Monday, February 18, 2019, at St Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 123 County Line Rd., Maple Park, from 9-9:45 a.m. with a Mass to celebrate her faith to follow at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Dorothy’s name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Dorothy Milnamow Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may be forwarded to the same address, on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page or at

The family would like to thank the staff at Michealsen Health Care Center for their loving care and kindness and the Staff at Park Manor for their friendship and compassion as well as her wonderful team of doctors.

Additional visitation will commence, Monday, February 18, 2019, at St Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 123 County Line Rd., Maple Park, from 9-9:45 a.m. with a Mass to celebrate her faith to follow at 10 a.m.

Visitation will be from 3-7 p.m., Sunday, February 17, 2019, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL.

Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

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